Sharing with Friends - July, August, September 2016

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A newsletter for breast cancer survivors


  • SharingJuly, August & September 2016 A NEWSLETTER FOR BREAST CANCER SURVIVORS

    with Friends

    Beaumont Cancer CenterMailing Address:

    3577 W. Thirteen MileRoyal Oak, MI 48073-6710

    248-551-8585email: sharingandcaring@

    The Side Effects of Financial Toxicity and How to Manage Them

    You can make a difference

    Sharing & Caring is a non-profit

    organization devoted to the education and support of

    breast cancer survivors. Donations support

    programs for others who follow in the same

    footsteps and can be made by a check payable

    to Sharing & Caring at the above address.

    continued on next page...

    After the shock wears off from hearing the words that often begin with Im sorry, and end with you have breast cancer. we begin to chart, with our health care team, a treatment plan to save our lives. At Beaumont, the comprehensive breast care program will work with you to coordinate all aspects of your care.

    For many of us its a long road, riddled with physical and mental side effects that vary from patient to patient, depending on pathology and the treatment plan.Your physicians will discuss these with you, and prescribe medications and other treatments to manage these side effects.

    But there is one side effect that is most often not discussed, and that is financial toxicity, the cost of care and out of pocket co-pays and deductibles. Adding insult to injury, there is the cost of lost wages when patients must take time off from work for treatment and recovery.

    Some patients may be eligible to take a medical leave under the Family Medical Leave Act, FMLA, which will allow them up to 90 days of unpaid leave in a calendar year. However unless you are one of the few and far between, who have been able to sock away enough savings, this unpaid leave can result in unpaid bills and the potential for catastrophic financial losses, including the loss of ones health insurance, residence, car and the shut-off of utilities.

    The result is the emotional, mental and physically debilitating, often life-threatening financial side effects induced by cancer treatment.I know this all too well as I experienced

    it myself in the summer of 2005 while undergoing treatment.

    At the time of my diagnosis, I was transitioning between jobs, and unprepared for a cancer diagnosis which detoured my career plans while I underwent treatment. My early stage disease spared me from the ravages of chemotherapy, but the loss of my income and the cost of a COBRA health insurance premium ravaged our financial health. According to S. Yousuf Zafar, MD in the Journal of National Cancer Institute, Volume 108, Issue Five, Chemotherapy related physical toxicity is a central focus of the cancer treatment process, but a nationwide survey shows we need to pay more attention to and create a dialog about the effects that financial burdens have on breast cancer treatment strategies and outcomes.

    So what is a patient to do? The reality is we must face the facts that cancer treatment is expensive. And we must arm ourselves with knowledge. This means having the hard conversations about how to financially manage the cost of treatment and of potentially lost wages.I know that talking with others about your personal financial concerns can be difficult.

    We are already feeling vulnerable, and to have to talk about personal finances, and the cost of cancer treatment can be embarrassing. But believe me, this is not the time to bury your head in the proverbial sand and hope it will all go away. It is the time to be proactive.

  • But how?

    In the words of Dr. Susan Love, author of Dr. Susan Loves Breast Book, Get yourself an advocate. Ask your most assertive friend or family member to speak on your behalf. Dr. Love suggests asking your meanest, take no prisoners personality type - the friend who wont let anyone off the hook until he or she gets the answers YOU need. Take this friend to your appointments and ask them to take notes.

    Begin with your doctor, by asking, I am worried about costs related to my cancer treatment and my ability to work while in treatment. Can we talk about my concerns?

    Here are some questions you should ask: Who can I talk with about my concerns and questions related to billing? Will this person help me work

    with my health insurance provider? Is there someone who can help me figure out my medical bills and the codes to make sure they are

    correct? (This is critical. Mistakes can result from typos or overcharges.) How much is my co-pay for each doctor visit? Do you offer a payment plan? If I cannot afford the recommended treatment plan, can we consider other treatment options that dont

    cost as much? What is my prescription co-pay for this drug? Are there ways to adapt my treatment schedule to my work schedule so I lose as few work days as


    These questions are just the beginning. A comprehensive list to ask about all aspects of treatment and recovery can be found at:

    At Beaumont, you will want to talk with a nurse navigator or social worker to discuss all your concerns. If a financial navigator is on staff, he or she will be able to assist you in finding national, regional and local resources that may be able to provide some financial relief.

    Molly McDonald,Founder and CEO, The Pink Fund

    Molly MacDonald is an 11 year breast cancer survivor, Founder and CEO of The Pink Fund and columnist on the topic of financial wellness for Breast Cancer Wellness Magazine. Feel free to email her, at or visit their website for a comprehensive list of Michigan resources,


    FINANCIAL TOXICITY - continued from previous page

    Healthy Recipe to try: Southwestern Black Bean Hummus

    1 clove of garlic1 (15 ounce) can of black beans; drain and reserve liquid2 tablespoons of lemon juice1 tablespoons of Tahini teaspoon of ground cumin teaspoon of salt teaspoon of chili powder teaspoon of paprika


    1) Place all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth2) Serve with pita chips, tortilla chips, raw veggies, or use as a sandwich spread.

    Dont forget - you can find us on Facebook! We are

    Sharing & Caring at Beaumont.

    You will find lots more information there, including reminders of our programs

    and events, great healthy recipes and tips, updated news about breast cancer and


    Be certain to Like the page so that our posts will show in your Facebook feed. Feel

    free to post your thoughts and comments as well! We

    love hearing from you.

  • We had so much fun last year that were doing it again! Save the Dates! August 27 & 28

    Taking up a new sport might not be the first thing on your list after a breast cancer diagnosis but hundreds of teams have formed across the world as women have used the dragon boat as a motivation to celebrate life after cancer and build a sense of sisterhood and community with other survivors.This summer Sharing and Caring will again have the unique opportunity to participate in dragon boating.Were forming a team to race in this years Dragon on the Lake Festival in Lake Orion and are seeking paddlers for this ultimate team-building event. Come out and join in the fun! No experience is necessary. All are welcome to participate regardless of age, physical fitness level or paddling experience. Just bring a positive

    attitude and willingness to work together. Our boat will need 18-20 paddlers. It is not so much the strength of the paddlers that is required but more of getting the rhythm right to get the boat to move. Staying in sync is needed to propel the boat across the water.

    Many women who have undergone lymph node removal remain cautious about engaging in any type of strenuous upper body activity due to fear of lymphedema. However, it has been found that progressive resistance training is actually beneficial and safe for most women who have undergone surgery or

    radiation after a breast cancer diagnosis. In 1995, a Canadian physician formed a team of breast cancer survivors to test the myth that repetitive upper body exercise was hazardous for breast cancer survivors. The team called themselves Abreast in a Boat and proved that women were indeed safe to participate. This innovative study was followed by a number of smaller studies that confirmed the benefits of upper body resistance training. Since then, breast cancer survivors over the world have embraced the sport as a way to meet new people, gain strength, breathe fresh air and do something positive to rebuild their lives.

    If you are not yet ready to get your feet wet, please join us to cheer on our boat and enjoy the festivities. It should prove to be a fabulous day out on the water. If you would like to join us in the boat, you must be available for approximately 2 hours the Saturday before the race for practice, and all day Sunday (about 8 hours), the day of the race. Please RSVP by calling 248-551-8585. You MUST call to reserve your spot in the boat. For more information about the Dragon on the Lake Festival, visit

    Dragon on the Lake Festival !


  • Breast Cancer Support - Theres something just right for you!

    Never Alone - Peer to Peer Support Group Wednesdays, July 13, August 10, and September 14 1:00 pm - Royal Oak

    After the storm of a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, you may be left with a lot of unanswered questions and feelings. Sometimes its just nice to talk to others who may be dealing with some of the same emotions. Topics of

    discussion will include dealing with fatigue, fear of recurrence, body image concerns, managing anxiety and finding a renewed sense of purpose. Meets in the Royal Oak Cancer Center 1st floor classroom.

    Rack Pack: Unique Issues for Young Women with Breast CancerTuesdays, July 12, August 9 and September 13 6:30 pm

    Are you looking to connect with other young women diagnosed with breast cancer? Our young survivors here at Sharing and Caring have joined forces with the Rack Pack at Gildas Club. This support group will focus

    exclusively on the unique issues and concerns specific to young women. From parenting young children, concerns about future fertility, managing careers, sustaining relationships, dating and intimacy, young women often have

    different experiences and can often feel especially alone and overwhelmed. Finding the right support group can bring strength and friendship as young women struggle to balance their personal and professional lives.

    Meets at the Gildas Clubhouse in Royal Oak. 3517 Rochester Road, Royal Oak, MI

    Breast Cancer Support Group Mondays, July 18, August 15 and September 19 10:30 am - Troy

    Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be a complete derailment to life. The sudden and unexpected upheaval is very stressful. This group, led by Oncology Social Worker Laurel Martinez, LMSW, LCSW, OSW-C, provides an opportunity to

    discuss your diagnosis and treatment with others who are going through the same experience. Meets in the Wilson Cancer Resource Center 1st floor conference room, in the Physician Office Building at 44344 Dequindre Road, across

    the bridge from Beaumont Hospital, Troy.

    STAGE 4 - A Group for Women with Metastatic Breast Cancer Tuesdays, July 19, August 16 and September 20 6:30 pm - Royal Oak

    This group provides an opportunity for women who have metastatic breast cancer to discuss the unique challenges and issues they face. Women with stage four breast cancer often feel unable to talk about their cancer. This

    format provides a safe arena to converse about what is on your mind and in your heart. You are welcome to attend one or all meetings. Please note, this group is intended only for women diagnosed with Stage IV

    disease. These meetings are facilitated by Psychologist Dr. Sally Smolen of Mercy Works in Farmington Hills. Meets in the Resource Center on the first floor of the Rose Cancer Center, Royal Oak.

    ALL Sharing & Caring events REQUIRE RESERVATIONS. Please call 248-551-8585 and let us know you plan to attend. If no one is available to take your call, a message with your name, phone

    number and which program you want to attend will complete your registration. You can also register online at Please note that online reservations close 48 hours

    before the program. You may register by phone if online reservations are closed.

    Sharing & Caring Programming

    If you do not reserve your spot, we will be unable to contact you in the event that we must cancel a program.



    Additional Programming

    Angel Pillow Project - Giving Back & Enjoying Life: Mondays, July 25, August 22 & September 12 12:00 Gather with us for conversation, encouragement and community as we give back and help those who are in treatment. We will be making heart shaped pillows to help other women recover from the physical and emotional pain after breast surgery. We will provide all tools & materials, but donations of these items are always welcome. Dont sew? Come anyway! We have things you can do. We will meet at Gildas Club, located at 3517 Rochester Road in Royal Oak. Please call 248-551-8585 to let us know youre coming.

  • 5Eliminating Toxins in our Homes - Making Non-Toxic Cleaners: Thursday, August 11 6:30 pm - Royal Oak LocalMotionGreen is a nonprofit organization dedicated to Healthy People & Healthy Planet. LMGs education director Melissa Sargent, will be expanding our knowledge of the toxic chemicals in our everyday household cleaners. You can wipe out unsafe chemicals by mixing your own cleaning products. Join us for this fun workshop, learning how to make your own non-toxic household cleaners from common ingredients like baking soda, vinegar and castile soap. You will be able to mix your own and head home with your own household cleaning recipes! Meets in the Royal Oak Neuroscience Center 2nd floor Allison Conference Room.

    FIELD TRIP! Dragon on the Lake Festival: August 27 & 28 Lake Orion, MIPlease see page 2 for details

    Oncology Rehabilitation for Breast Cancer Survivors: Thursday, September 29 6:30 pm - Royal OakCome and join us to learn what physical and occupational therapists can offer you to optimize your health. It is normal to experience some losses in physical mobility and function during and after breast cancer treatment. Physical and occupational therapy can help to minimize the side effects of the disease and its treatment. Especially at the end of your treatment, therapists can help you to safely restore your body to pre-treatment levels. Learn how our highly skilled therapists at Beaumont will guide you with an exercise prescription developed just for you. Find out how they will monitor your progress and work with your physicians when needed. Learn about improving your quality of life, reducing fatigue, monitoring for lymphedema, staying strong and healthy while improving your flexibility and balance. Meets in the Neuroscience Center 2nd floor Allison Conference Room.

    Survivorship Workshop Series: Living Well After Cancer!

    Getting to the Heart of the Matter! Take charge of your Heart Health After Cancer: Thursday, July 28 4 pmHeart disease and breast cancer are the top 2 causes of death for women. Radiation to the chest, chemotherapy, and hormone changes can affect heart function during treatment and years later. Many women wonder about the after effects of treatment on heart health and the cardiovascular implications from their breast cancer treatments. Join us as Dr. Marandici discusses steps we can take to prevent heart disease, recognize early symptoms and gives us a tour of the Ministrelli Heart Center. Please note, we will meet in the Ministrelli Heart Center, just inside the East Hospital entrance.

    The Cancer Fighting Plate: Thursday, August 25 6:30 pmFollowing a healthy diet is important for cancer survivors. Without knowing it, you may be eating many foods that fuel cancer, while neglecting the powerful foods and nutrients that can protect you. Learn the truth behind eating organic and what genetically modified really means. Take the next step by making a few simple changes to your diet, to improve your long-term health so you can enjoy the years ahead. Join us as we learn ways we can add more cancer fighting foods to our plate. Facilitated by Oncology Dietitian, Deb Martz, RD, CSO.

    Return to Wellness - Mind, Body & Spirit: Thursday, September 15 6:30 pmIntegrative medicine (IM) uses many different healing approaches to address the concerns of breast cancer survivors. Discover the best ways to manage fatigue and insomnia. Explore mindfulness based therapies that can help reduce stress and anxiety. Learn complementary treatments that can provide relief from peripheral neuropathy and other common lingering side effects of treatment and how to improve your overall well-being with a holistic approach that can move you away from disease and toward vibrant health.

    You must pre-register for the Survivorship workshops, as a light supper will be served. You can register online at Online registration closes 48 hours before the program. Phone registration is at 248-551-8585.

    If no one is available to take your call, a message with your name, phone number and which program you want to attend will complete your registration. Survivorship Workshops meet in the Neuroscience Center 2nd floor Allison

    Conference Room at Royal Oak, unless otherwise noted. The Center is behind (just East of) the Imaging Center and parking is available in the adjacent Cancer Center back parking lot. Enter the main doors of the Neuroscience Center

    and proceed up to the 2nd floor.

  • S Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday S1 2

    3 4 5

    6 7 8 9

    10 11 12 6:30 pmRack Pack-Young Survivor SupportGildas Club

    13 1:00 pm Never Alone: Peer to Peer Royal Oak

    14 15 16

    17 18 10:30 am Breast Cancer SupportTroy

    19 6:30 pmMetastatic Breast Cancer Support Royal Oak

    20 21 22 23



    25 12:00 pmAngel Pillow ProjectGildas Club

    26 27 28 4:00 pmGetting to the Heart of the Matter, Royal Oak

    29 30

    July 2016

    All Programs at a glance..



    S Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday S1 2 3 4 5 6

    7 8 9 6:30 pmRack Pack-Young Survivor SupportGildas Club

    10 1:00 pm Never Alone: Peer to Peer Royal Oak

    11 6:30 pmEliminating Toxins in our Homes-Royal Oak

    12 13

    14 15 10:30 am Breast Cancer SupportTroy

    16 6:30 pmMetastatic Breast Cancer Support Royal Oak

    17 18 19 20

    21 22 12:00 pmAngel Pillow Project atGildas Club

    23 24 25 6:30 pmThe Cancer- Fighting PlateRoyal Oak

    26 27



    30 31

    August 2016

    Dont forget to call 248-551-8585 and reserve your seat. If no one is available to take your call, a message with your name, phone number and the name of the program you plan to

    attend will suffice as your reservation. You can also register online at, up to 48 hours before the program. If you do not reserve your spot, we will not be able to contact you in the

    event that we must cancel a program.











  • September 2016

    S Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday S 1 2 3

    4 5 6 7 8 9 10

    11 12 12:00 pmAngel PillowProject at GildasClub

    13 6:30 pmRack Pack-Young Survivor SupportGildas Club

    14 1:00 pm Never Alone: Peer to Peer Royal Oak

    15 6:30 pmReturn to WellnessRoyal Oak

    16 17

    18 19 10:30 amBreast CancerSupportTroy

    20 6:30 pmMetastatic BreastCancer SupportRoyal Oak

    21 22

    23 24



    27 28 29 6:30 pmOncology Rehabilitation Royal Oak


    More programs at a glance.


    Dont forget to call 248-551-8585 and reserve your seat. If no one is available to take your call, a message with your name, phone number and the name of the program you plan to attend will suffice as your reservation. You can also register online at, up to 48 hours before the

    program. If you do not reserve your spot, we will not be able to contact you in the event that we must cancel a program.


    The 17th Annual Symposium, When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Pink Lemonade was held in May at the Village Club in Bloomfield Hills.

    More than one hundred women participated in the day-long event held in

    May. Information they enjoyed learning about included how simple dietary changes can help fight recurrence, the latest updates in breast cancer treatment and management, and how journaling can help with healing and recovery. The day started with a continental breakfast, and was highlighted with a delicious luncheon that included lots of comeraderie and conversation. Many lucky ladies even won prizes!

    We want to extend our sincere thanks to everyone who participated in the symposium, whether attendees, speakers, donors, or volunteers. It is the wonderful mix of everyones knowledge,help and hard work that allows us to put together this wonderful event each year.

  • Please note that these are not Sharing & Caring programs and each event has separate contact information and phone numbers.

    Nutrition for Cancer Survivorship-During Treatment and Beyond: Thursdays,July 14, August 11 and September 8, 7:00 - 8:30 pm Patients will learn how diet influences cancer. Sample foods and recipes will be provided. Please join Hallie Jack, RD, and Chef Bryan Cicchini for a fun, informative, delicious evening! Meets in the Rehabilitation & Dialysis Center 2nd floor, Staff lounge, 44300 Dequindre, Sterling Heights MI 48314. Although there is no fee to attend, registration is required by calling the Wilson Cancer Center at 248-964-3430

    Silver Linings-Living with Ease: Gentle Hatha Yoga and Guided Mindfulness Meditation, led by Dr. Ruth Lerman, certified M.B.S.R.teacher. Suitable for adults of ALL experience levels. 45 minutes of gentle Hatha Yoga, followed by 45 minutes of Guided Mindfulness Meditation. Attend any one, or all. Classes are held in Farmington Hills on June 14 & 28, July 26 and August 2, 16 & 30, and in Warren on June 7, July 5 & 19 and August 9 & 23 at 5:30 pm. For more information, call 248-855-7640 or go to or email Please bring a mat. There is no cost to participate.

    Look Good Feel Better: This program is presented in conjunction with the American Cancer Society to help women who are currently undergoing cancer treatment to improve their appearance and self image by teaching them hands-on beauty techniques to overcome the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatments. Bring home a beautiful kit filled with new makeup, and learn some new scarf-tying tricks as well. Reservations for LGFB for Troy (10 am meeting time), or Royal Oak (6 pm meeting time) or Grosse Pointe (6pm meeting time) must be made by calling the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345. Meeting dates for Royal Oak are Mondays, July 11, August 8 and September 12. Troy meets Mondays, July 18, August 8 and Sseptember 12. Grosse Pointe meets on Monday, September 19. This is a free workshop!

    Beaumont Cancer Survivorship Clinic: Meets on Thursdays at the Wilson Cancer Resource Center (across the bridge from Troy Beaumont). Offers comprehensive, multidisciplinary visits and the flexibility to focus on any issues you may be facing. Our goal is to provide guidance to live a healthy life after treatment, including lifestyle recommendations, nutritional counseling, wellness education and more. To schedule an appointment, or for more information, call 248-964-5892.

    The information in this newsletter is not intended as a replacement for medical care. The advice of your physician should take precedence in your health care matters.


    onal Programs and Events of Interest...


    nting breast cancer with knowledge, support and


    We want to hear from you!

    Breast Cancer Survivorship Survey

    Please share your feedback! Weve compiled some questions and would love to know what you have to say. By visiting the link below, you will have the opportunity to tell us what has helped you and what we can improve on for the future. It takes just a few short minutes to complete and we value your opinion!


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